Lake Oswego High School inducts a new class into its Athletic Hall of Honor.
Lake Oswego High School welcomed a new class of greats into its Athletic Hall of Honor on Saturday, June 3.
The Class of 2023 included: Dick Curtis, Elijah Greer, Don Kieling, Kelsey Lavender, Sean Magee, Tate Murray, Doris Popple, Jess Rhodes and the 2004 state championship baseball team.
Lake Oswego High School’s Hall of Honor is designed to maintain the rich heritage and tradition of the successful athletic programs at Lake Oswego High School. It also serves as a means of recognizing, preserving and honoring the teams, student-athletes, coaches and other individuals who made significant contributions throughout various eras and brought honor to themselves, their school and the community through their exceptional achievements.
The informational plaque of each honoree can be found in the main lobby of the Lake Oswego High School gym complex.
Dick Curtis is a graduate of Orofino High School, a little logging town in northern central Idaho. After high school, he went on to attend the University of Idaho in 1965, and despite not having any formal training in competitive swimming, but always enjoying swimming the rivers around Orofino, he decided to go out for the Idaho swim team.
By the end of the year, he had earned himself a partial scholarship. After four years at Idaho, he was named team captain, most inspirational swimmer, and was the Big Sky champion in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle.
After graduating in 1969, Dick’s first job was an assistant swim coach and assistant director of aquatics at Tigard High School. After two years, he received his first head coaching job at Mark Morris High School in Longview, Washington. He then went on to be the head swim coach and assistant athletic director at Portland Community College, where he led the team to a second-place finish in the Northwest Community College Swimming and Diving Championships.
In 1974, he was hired as the head swim coach at Lake Oswego High School and the aquatic director for the Lake Oswego School District. He coached the Lakers from 1974 to 1984. In 1977, Dick became LOHS athletic director in addition to his swim coaching duties. This didn’t slow him down, though, as he earned Wilco League and Willamette Valley League Coach of the Year honors in 1979 and 1980. His overall dual meet record while coaching the Lakers was 140-20-3.
He also led them to 19 individual state championships, five state runner-up finishes for the team and had a USA Olympic qualifier. In 1981, Dick was awarded the National High School Coach of the Year Award for 11 western states and was also runner-up for the National Award.
In 1984, Dick retired from coaching swimming to focus solely on athletic administration, a career that lasted 26 years. During that span, he also at times served as Vice Principal, Dean of Students and Attendance, taught photography and physical education, and was advisor to numerous activities including ASB, homecoming, May Fete, Laker Club and graduation.
Several accomplishments were a direct result of his leadership as well. He spearheaded numerous facility improvements, including the first artificial turf field, the first press box installed on the stadium roof, the remodeling of the boys locker room, the creation of a coaches office/locker room, the first computerized digital sound system in the gym, and the varsity softball field at Lake Oswego Junior High.
He prioritized staffing by initiating the first paid athletic trainer position, along with recruiting and hiring many successful coaches, including football coach Steve Coury and baseball coach Jake Anders. Dick also designed the iconic interlocking “LO” logo of Lake Oswego High School. In 1993 and 1997, he was the runner-up for Oregon High School Athletic Director of the Year.
After retiring from LOHS, Dick moved to Boise, Idaho, in 2001 to be closer to family and took on the role of Executive Director of the Idaho High School Activities Association Foundation. He retired in 2019 and was awarded the State Award for Outstanding Service from the National Federation of High Schools for his work with the Idaho High School Activities Association.
Dick and his wife Janelle have three children (Jeff, Jessica and Katie), who all went through Lake Oswego schools. All of them were active in school activities and contributed to the Lake Oswego community. They are now adult parents and have given Dick and Janelle seven grandchildren.
Elijah Greer was a seven-time letter winner in cross country and track and field during his time at Lake Oswego High School. His awards and records are unmatched in those two sports.
As a sophomore, he was the state champion in the 1500-meter race. As a junior, he finished 15th at the state cross country meet. Later that year, he was the league champion and state champion in the 800. He was also the Junior National Champion in 800, running the fourth-fastest time in U.S. history with a time of 1 minute, 47.68 seconds. He eventually became a semifinalist at the World Championships in Poland.
As a senior, Elijah earned the title of Three Rivers League Champion in cross country and finished 9th at state. That spring, he was a two-time state champion, winning both the 800 and 1500. By the time his high school career ended, Elijah was the school record holder in the 4 x 400 relay, 800 and 1500, as well as the record holder for LOHS’ home cross country course.
In the 800, he finished his career as the record holder at the state meet and for the state of Oregon, and was also the Junior National record holder.
He was a two-time high school All- American. He earned the title of 2008 Oregon Gatorade Athlete of the Year and was the Johnny Carpenter Prep Athlete of the Year at the Oregon Sports Awards.
After graduating from LOHS, Elijah went on to compete at the University of Oregon where he had a fantastic career from 2009-2013. He was a seven-time All-American, the school record holder in the distance medley relay, a two-time Pac-12 Champion in the 800, and a two-time NCAA national champion in the 800. Elijah also earned Pac-12 All-Academic honors three times.
He was an Olympic Trials finalist as a junior. As a senior, Elijah ran the fastest 800 ever recorded in a collegiate dual track meet. His time of 1:46.20 against Arkansas during the Pepsi Invitational at historic Hayward Field in Eugene broke a 35-year-old record. He also placed fourth at the U.S. Track and Field Championships as a senior.
After college, Elijah went on to compete professionally as a Nike athlete. At one point, he was ranked third in the U.S. by Track and Field News before he was force to retire due to injuries. Elijah currently lives locally and is now helping coach the cross country and track and field teams at Lake Oswego High School.
Don Kieling was part of Lake Oswego High School from its inception in 1952. He initially served as a physical education and history teacher, while also coaching football and baseball, serving as head baseball coach from 1954 to 1961. Don later took on the role of Vice Principal and Athletic Director at LOHS. He loved sports, specifically baseball, but he understood the importance of all sports.
He played an integral role in establishing the LOHS football field, track and stadium, as there was nothing there before. Don was a tireless worker for LOHS’ staff and students. He was also known
to be very protective of LO’s athletes, not wanting them to have to raise or accept money in order to play.
At the end of each school year, Don would present the Athletic Sportsmanship Award to one graduating senior boy and girl. The criteria of this award included being an excellent example of sportsmanship on and off the field, receptiveness to coaching, helping their younger teammates, setting goals with high standards, being an inspiration to their teammates, and showing personal sacrifice, dedication and hard work in order to become successful. Because Don exemplified these values himself, this award was eventually named after him and is still presented to two LOHS graduating seniors each year.
Despite his deep love and passion for LOHS, in 1971 Don took on the challenge of starting and leading the athletic department at Lakeridge High School when it opened. He went on to become the Lake Oswego School District Athletic Director. In 1974, he was named the Oregon Athletic Director of the Year, and in 1975, he was awarded the Regional Athletic Director of the Year Award.
Kelsey Lavender grew up in the Lake Oswego community competing in soccer, basketball and softball with the Lake Oswego Community Schools recreation program. She entered high school in the fall of
2000 and immediately made her presence felt in her first game of Laker basketball, scoring 21 points in the Lakers’ opening season game against Jesuit. She started on the Laker basketball team all four years, while helping the Lakers to an overall record of 84-27 (.756) and a playoff record of 10-6 (.625). She was a Three Rivers League first-team selection all four years, team captain her sophomore, junior and senior years, and an all-state selection three years.
She still holds the all-time career Laker scoring record of 1,604 points, ranks second in all-time career assists with 325 and second in deflections with 318. She also ranks third in all-time career steals with 271.
Kelsey also holds several single season records: the scoring title with 496 points scored in her 2002-03 season; most field goals with 184 (tied with Katy Steding); and most 3-point field goals made in one season with 64. She also holds the single-game record for most 3-point field goals made in a game with seven (7 of 12).
Following her senior season at LOHS, Kelsey played in the Oregon vs. Washington all-star game and was also a McDonald’s All-American nominee for the state of Oregon. Kelsey received a full ride Division I basketball scholarship to University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, where she was named captain and Honorable Mention All-Conference her senior year. She ended her career in 2008 with 995 points and continues to be ranked in the school’s Top 10 in many categories. She actively participated in local and regional basketball camps during her high school career and was in high demand by local high school athletes for coaching and motivational work. She was an assistant coach at Beaverton High School and Oregon Elite Basketball club before she became a full-time employee at Nike. Kelsey’s professional career started at Nike in 2011, moving from retail to Sports Marketing as a College Account Manager for 20 Division 1 universities.
Currently she has matriculated to the Gameday Digital Production Manager in Global Sports Marketing. She manages all the contracted teams, leagues, federations and universities that are under contract with Nike. Her sports experience and academic preparation at LOHS, and her degrees in Sport
Management & Business from the University of Pacific have opened relationships throughout the worldwide Nike organization which allow her to direct and manage those accounts and personnel, maximizing the World Nike corporate product. Kelsey was married to Nicholas Piovanelli in August of 2021, and she and Nick have one son, Jack, and will soon add a daughter to her family.
Sean Magee was a six-time letter earner in football and track and field at Lake Oswego High School. As a senior in football, he was a team captain, earned first team all-league honors and was selected Honorable Mention all-state. In track and field, Sean was a two-time team captain and earned all-league and all-state honors after his junior and senior seasons. As a junior, he placed seventh in the state meet in the shot put. His senior year, he placed third in the discus. Each of those years, he was also the Lakers’ team points leader. To this day, Sean still holds the school record for both the shot put and the discus. Sean also excelled in the classroom, making the honor roll multiple years and participating in Political Action Seminar, Mock Trial, Class Senate and earning the Best Speaker Award from Junior Statesmen of America his senior year.
Upon graduating from LOHS, Sean received a Congressional Appointment to the United States Naval Academy, where he played football from 2000-2003. During the 2003 season, he was a member of the offensive line that helped the Midshipmen lead the nation in rushing. That same season, he helped the Middies earn the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy for the first time since 1981 and help them earn their first bowl game berth since 1996.
After graduating from the Academy, Magee served as an Active Duty Naval Officer from 2004-2012, receiving numerous awards and decorations. He was deployed to the Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
In 2012, Sean earned his Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the College of William and Mary’s Mason School of Business. That same year, he was hired as the Director of Player Personnel for Navy Football, where he helped shape the roster for the winningest five-year stretch in program history. In 2017, Sean was hired as the Associate Athletic Director for Football at the University of Michigan, with their 2021 team earning a berth in the College Football Playoff. In 2022, Sean was hired as the Chief of Staff for the Chicago Bears.
Sean and his wife Sarah, have five boys — Miles, twins Brooks and Colt, Lane and Ace — and one daughter, Stella.
Tate Murray was an eight-time letter earner for the Lakers in soccer, cross country and track and field. She was known to be “full of grit and would let nothing get in her way to win.” She is one of the best, if not the best, distance runners to ever come through Lake Oswego High School.
In cross country, she was a two-time team captain and was a three-time Three Rivers League champion, earning finishes of seventh, fourth and seventh at the state meet. She also held the school record in the 5,000 with a time of 18:27.
In track and field, Tate was a team captain twice, a TRL champion three times in the 1,500, two times in the 3,000 and once in the 4 x 400 relay. At the state meet, she was a four-time qualifier in the 1,500 and finished second and third her junior and senior years. In the 3,000, she finished second twice at state. She was the school record holder in the 1,500 with a time of 4:39.54 and the 3,000 with a time of 10:04.4.
Upon graduating from LOHS, Tate when on to compete at Stanford University in cross country and track and field. She was a four-year competitor on the Cardinal cross country team and ran in the 2013 Pac-12 championships. She made her collegiate track debut in 2013, competing in the 1,500, 3,000 and 5,000. She went on to compete in the Pac-12 Championships and advance to the NCAA West Prelims her junior and senior years in the 1,500, finishing 29th and 37th respectively. Tate was not only a competitor on the track, but in the classroom as well, earning Pac-12 All-Academic Honors twice.
Tate graduated from Stanford in 2014 with a degree in Human Biology and a minor in Mechanical Engineering. She had a very successful career with Nike and is now serving as the Director of Marketing for RTD Spirits at Anheuser-Busch in New York City.
Doris Popple was born in 1923 and began playing tennis when she was 10. She participated in junior tennis in Spokane, Washington, and played in national junior tournaments. She was the Canadian national women’s singles champion in 1950 and ranked No. 2 in the Pacific Northwest in women’s singles in 1948 and 1959. Doris was ranked No. 7 in the U.S. women’s doubles in 1953 and 1954.
Doris first started her teaching and coaching career in Spokane and Kennewick, Washington, before coming to Lake Oswego High School, where she had a remarkable 31-year career.
During her time at LOHS, she coached the Laker tennis teams to more than 260 wins and more than 20 tournament titles. In 1980, Sports Illustrated named her National Tennis Coach of the Year. Doris was also responsible for starting the girls basketball program at LOHS.
Doris’ lasting legend has been in senior women’s tennis, championing new events for senior women competition. In 1980, she was ranked fourth among the country’s seniors. Doris served as the first president of the Oregon Senior Women Tennis Association, an association created to organize tennis events for women of every skill level, age 40 and older.
Doris and friends designed, organized and hosted the first PNW Senior Women’s Invitational. She volunteered to serve as Chair for the newly formed Senior Women’s Development Committee of the PNWTA and was chair of the first PNWTA Senior Women’s Grand Prix Tournament. In 1987, participants of the PNWTA Senior Women’s Grand Prix voted to dedicate this event to the memory of Doris. She is also a member of the USTA/PNW Hall of Fame.
Jess Rhodes first joined the faculty at Lake Oswego High School in 1960 as a U.S. History teacher. He immediately became one of the most popular and well-respected staff members at Lake Oswego High School due to his hard work, dedication and the positive relationships he built with LOHS students and staff.
In just his third year at LOHS, the Class of 1963 dedicated the “Laker Log” to Jess, and their trust in him was unmatched. The Class of 1963 wrote, “Mr. Rhodes brings broader horizons to our world. His willingness to participate in school activities is reflected by his ever-faithful attendance at Laker athletic events. His spirit of service is shown in his book room. Patience and friendliness are among Mr. Rhodes’ most admirable characteristics.”
As a direct result of his popularity and dedication, Jess would have many titles, which included basketball coach, football coach, coordinator of A.V. Services and Materials, Discipline Counselor, Athletic Director and Dean of Student Activities. You name the activity at LOHS, Jess was involved in some way and was there supporting the Laker students and staff. He was known as “indispensable to every student project.” His voice was recognizable to everyone because of his daily announcements over the school intercom and his leading of cheers at pep assemblies and any and all sporting events.
His support for athletics was incomparable. At that time, he was considered a “technology expert” and was known to use the school lift to get high enough to replace the bulbs in the scoreboard in the middle of a game if they weren’t working properly. He attended nearly every game or contest, home and away. He even volunteered on multiple occasions to ride the bus with the team on long road trips. He was often seen at practices providing water if needed.
Upon his retirement in 1982, the senior class included a two-page spread in the “Laker Log” thanking him for his 20 years of service and dedication. This was a true testament to his career and influence. Jess embodied what it meant to be a Lake Oswego Laker and his impact can still be felt today.
2004 BASEBALL TEAM
The 2004 Lake Oswego Baseball team was certainly one of a kind. They set numerous standards, not only for Lake Oswego Baseball, but also for the school’s history dating back to 1952. The 2004 state title was the first major sport boys team championship in the school’s history. They were also the first Laker baseball team to win a playoff game for LOHS and still hold the best season record of 26-4-1.
The team was made up of a roster of 14 guys that were tightly knit, different in every way, but who ultimately knew how to push each other to achieve greatness. Many of these relationships were forged through youth baseball where most of them played together all the way through and won a state title as 10-year-old all-stars. They were also the lone high school-only team to make the 2003 American Legion State Tournament — the summer before their 2004 state-title season.
They understood how to work, how to be coached, how to have fun, and most importantly, knew when it was game time and how to get it done. The first example being in the second playoff round versus top-ranked Churchill, and the second on the road versus fourth-ranked South Salem in the semifinals.
Once the Lakers reached the state championship game, the players knew it was never in question. In pregame hitting before the team left for Volcanoes Stadium in Keizer, the players told Coach Jake Anders, “We got this coach. It’s over.” And it was. Lake Oswego dominated West Albany in the state championship game, beating them 9-1 with Mike Stutes picking up his fourth playoff victory and only giving up one hit. Charlie Olson was 3 for 4 with two runs scored and two RBIs.
Third baseman and 2003 Three Rivers League Player of the Year Mitch Moses was 2 for 3 with two RBIs and one run scored. Stutes went 2 for 4 with three RBIs and one run scored. Jordan Wlodarczyk was 1 for 3 with a massive three-run home run that put the game out of reach. Bryce Mooney was 1 for 2 and Zach Mandelblatt was 2 for 3 with two runs scored.
Stutes went on to become the most decorated player in LOHS history, being named 2004 OSAA Pitcher and Player of the Year, winning two national championships at Oregon State University (2006-07) and becoming the first and only Major League player in the school’s history, pitching for the Philadelphia Phillies from 2011-2014.
Even though Stutes garnered the majority of the attention, the Lakers were a complete team and all the players were major contributors throughout the season. The 2004 team had a total of nine college baseball players and one other professional baseball player in Mandelblatt, who played three years of independent baseball. Team members included: Dominic Bongiorno, Kevin Davey, Match Elliot, Kyle
Hummel, Match Lange, Justin Leitch, Zach Mandelblatt, Scott McFarland, Dan Meehan, Bryce Mooney, Mitch Moses, Charlie Olson, Mike Stutes and Jordan Wlodarczyk. Coaches included: Jake Anders (head coach), Ryan Moir, Kip Patterson, Dave Schoppe, Dave Titchenal and Brad Woebke.